QCOSTARICA – The Covid-19 infection rate in Costa Rica dropped, but not enough to reduce the rate of infection.
While the indicator stands at 1.32, that is 100 people could infect 132, the concern of Health authorities is this number based on the Universidad Hispanoamericana (UH) weekly analysis, is still a sign that infections continue to rise.
“Even though it decreased slightly, this rate continues to be extremely high for the entire country,” summarized physician and epidemiologist Ronald Evans, coordinator of the UH report.
Why, if this indicator fell, is there concern? Simply, because it is still much higher than 1. The contagion rate, R rate or basic reproduction number, is an indicator that reflects how many healthy people, on average, a carrier of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes covid-19, would infect.
If this indicator is greater than 1, it means that transmission is increasing.
A rate of 1.32 implies that, if we have a group of 100 people with the virus, they would transmit the infection to 132 people. Seven days ago, these 100 people would have passed the infection to 137.
In other words, this week the number of infections continues to grow, at a slower rate than seven days ago, but each group of infected this week gives rise to a 32% larger group.
New daily cases continue high
Another concern of Health authorities is that the number of new cases daily continues to rise. The daily average for the seven days of last week was 1,991, this figure was 721 cases higher than the previous week, 56.7% more.
The incidence rate went from 247.7 to 388.6 cases per million inhabitants. To give an idea, this number is already considered “very high risk” according to the UH analysis, and is the highest that Costa Rica has presented in the history of the pandemic.
“This gives an idea of the vigorous increase in cases of this disease that has occurred in the country in recent days,” stressed Evans.
This situation is worrisome since the situation in national hospitals is critical. This Friday, the number of people hospitalized reached a daily record-breaking number of 1,175, of which 433 (an increase of 24 people from 24 hours prior) rare in intensive care.
“We are in a very distressing moment, since hospital care for patients with covid-19 reached its maximum capacity and people with the virus are beginning to be rejected due to the lack of beds to accommodate them,” the report cites.
“All the efforts that have been made to prevent the collapse of services are, at this time, insufficient. The situation that was not wanted arrived ”, adds the document.
For Evans, this is a signal that should call everyone to action.
The epidemiological numbers
For Friday, May 7, the Ministry of Health reported 2,392 new infections, bringing the accumulated total to 265,486 – 133,350 men and 132,136 women, with an average age of 38.1 years – from the first in March 2020.
Of these, 234,455 are Costa Ricans and 31,031 foreigners.
The number of recuperated is 212,525 (80%), and the actives (people still carrying the virus) is 49,596 (19%).
In the 24 hours from Thursday’s report to Friday’s, 24 people died due to covid-19, bringing the total deaths to 3,365 (2,087 were men and 1,278 women).
On Friday, the Government confirmed that it does not plan to announce the expansion of the restrictive measures, unless absolutely necessary.
However, meetings are being held today, Saturday, May 8, with various sectors of the business community, including culture, tourism, sports, the Episcopal Conference and the Evangelical Alliance.
Communications minister Agustín Castro confirmed that “virtual meetings” are being held.
The Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce (CCCR) said that “we can no longer have more closings” and presented the government proposals that guarantee a controlled and sustained opening of the economy.